5 Ways Filmmakers Benefit From The Recession - Raindance
FDR breadline memorial in Washington DC

FDR breadline memorial in Washington DC

Isn’t the weather a bummer? Brits have just lost not one, but two of their DVD chain stores: HMV and Blockbuster. And the economic gloom seems as dark and cold as the wintry skies. It sure would be easy to crawl into your shelf and spend the rest of you time in the library.

Let’s face it, a recession is a bummer. And a double dip, or triple dip is about as depressing a thought as you can get.

Whether you’re wallowing on Wall Street, hedging the Euro, cross-betting on the Greek econmy or bashing your head at your personal bank, everyone is feeling the heat. But surprisingly, it’s never been a better time to be a filmmaker!  Why?

1. Because people spend more time at movies

Going to the movies is relatively cheap, abundantly available and an almost failsafe method of entertainment. People will pay for a £10 movie ticket as opposed to a £100 theatre ticket, or even a £30 meal. And even when 10 quid is too much, there’s always VODs, which people use to beat the sometimes humdrum home times of the economic crisis.

But I think it goes even further than entertainment. Watching movies is cathartic. As President of the MPAA, Dan Glickman, said to Time Magazine, “When times are bad, our business seems to buck the trend. The movies are great therapy. It’s a lot cheaper than a psychiatrist.” So, film booms even in a bust economy, and the writers give it power.

Lo To0 No Budget Filmmaking2. Because you have time to build your portfolio

You can’t spell ‘recession’ without ‘recess’—it’s a great time to draw inspiration from your schoolyard days and just PLAY. Use the down time to experiment, start a few fun projects, or finish that sitcom pilot that’s been festering on your desk for years. This is also a good way of saving cash: instead of going out and paying for diversion, take a nice walk to the park and journal ideas—for FREE!

3. Because barter is king

If you need stuff for your script or your movie, barter is generally easier in times of economic decline. And besides that, it’s usually tax free. Take a look onCraigslist or Gumtree and notice all the stuff people are giving away—folks are moving, downsizing, or just trying to simplify in these tough times. Make deals and get rid of some of your old stuff by trading. The recession is like a prop breeding ground—take advantage of it! Low/No Budget is king!

4. Because it’s easier to get partners, and easier to get your film made.

If no one is working, it’s easier to convince your mates to work with you for free on your project.  While you’re writing, ask some friends to compose the soundtrack. Let others scout locations, cast actors, etc. In a time when it’s tough to get paid for anything, put peoples’ talents to work, using your ideas as the vehicle.

And for those of you out-of-work and seeking-work, suddenly the offer of food and expenses only is pretty good! Read our article: Filmmaking In The Event Of The Apocalypse

Because there are lots of downward spiral stories to draw upon

With so much impending gloom and doom around us, you’ll be inspired to make your own version of the apocalypse. You can write hyperbolized stories of the fiscal disaster zone around us—people would be thrilled to hear fictional stories that depict worse situations than we’re in now! Or write a tell-tale story about living in the midst of economic ruin. Because people are looking for hope

None of us want the recession to go on forever. There’s no better time than now to make the uplifting, funny or heartwarming story that will distract from the fog and illuminate those green shoots of hope.